From the Vancouver Film School:

(Ivan Bartok was the assistant for RDA and Michael Greenburg [Gekko Film Corp.], had a cameo in "Prodigy," and more recently, directed/produced the "Beyond the Gate" featurettes on the Season Seven DVDs.)

Grad Stories

Writing Space
August 2003

Q. What inspired you to pursue a career in the entertainment industry?

Ivon Bartok (IB): Basically I have always had a love of comedy and wanted to pursue comedy in some form or fashion. I felt that writing it was my best chance of breaking in.

Q. Was there a defining moment? Describe?

IB: My defining moment was in my third year of university while I was studying International Relations. It took me three years to figure out that it wasn’t that funny…so I finished that and came to VFS to work on my writing.

Q. So what have you been up to since leaving VFS?

IB: Within a week of leaving VFS I had the opportunity to interview for the position as Richard Dean Anderson and Michael Greenburg’s assistant on Stargate SG-1. I got that and it immediately put me into a position where I was surrounded by filmmakers. I learned so much over the first couple years doing it. The job also gave me the opportunity to pitch MGM an idea for some ‘behind-the-scenes’ features on the cast. They gave me the go ahead, and I am now in the process of producing and directing four features on the main cast. As well, over the last hiatus I produced a short film that was shot on 35mm entitled Captured. It will be showing at the Montreal World Film Festival in September, 2003 (and hopefully more festivals). And of course I have continued to write. I created a show with one of the Co-Executive Producers of Stargate called Cleaners. And I am currently writing a comedy feature entitled Straight Foosing, a story about a man’s dream of recapturing his championship form in the game of foosball.

Q. Why did you choose to study writing at VFS?

IB: That was kind of a fluke. I was looking for a writing program and a friend told me about the school. I researched it and liked what I saw.
“Within a week of leaving VFS I had the opportunity to interview
for the position as Richard Dean Anderson and Michael Greenburgs assistant on Stargate SG-1.” Ivon Barok

Q. Has your connection with VFS been helpful as you move forward with your career?

IB: Yes. It was a friend at VFS who told me about the opportunity to work on Stargate.

Q. Do you maintain a network of VFS contacts?

IB: Yes. I have hired a classmate, Aaron Wintringham (P.A. Story), to work with me on the behind-the-scenes features.

Q. What characteristics are consistent with successful writers/producers in the movie biz?

IB: Success comes from hard work, lots of writing, and understanding all areas of film and TV. As well, you have to be confident about your ideas. Everyone and their mother gives notes on a script… so thick skin, and the realization that they HAVE to do that to justify their position helps the writer sleep at night.

Q. Where do you hope to be in 5-10 years?

IB: I would like to have produced a feature film that I have written, and I would like to be producing a television show that I have created.

Q. What advice would you choose to share with someone considering the VFS Writing Program for Film & TV?

IB: VFS helped me a great deal because it put me in the position and frame of mind that I needed to be in to take writing seriously. It gave me the opportunity to focus on writing for a decent period of time. Students coming in need to realize that the more you put into it, the more you get out of it. Take advantage of the teachers and other students—they are a valuable resource.




Richard Dean Anderson Fans